The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Baltimore District, along with the non- federal sponsor, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), have published for public review and comment a draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (EA) to determine whether the implementation of coastal storm risk management (CSRM) measures would reduce coastal flood risk to critical public and private infrastructure along the west bank of the Potomac River in Northern Virginia.
The proposed plan includes a floodwall at the Arlington Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) and a levee and floodwall at the community of Belle Haven (See Figures 1 and 2 below).
The study area encompasses approximately 76 square miles within the Middle Potomac watershed boundary, from Arlington County south to include a portion of Prince William County.
"This study is a result of extensive planning and modeling efforts evaluating coastal storm risk management measures along the Potomac River,” said Baltimore District Commander Col. Estee Pinchasin. “The public release of this report marks a study milestone that the USACE team and our partners at MWCOG have been working towards for several years. We welcome all feedback and are excited to engage with the public as we continue working together to reduce coastal storm risk in Northern Virginia.”
Northern Virginia has been impacted by numerous major tropical and extratropical events, most notably the Chesapeake and Potomac Hurricane of 1933, Hurricane Agnes (1972), Hurricane Fran (1996), Nor’easter (1998), Hurricane Floyd (1999), Hurricane Isabel (2003), Hurricane Irene (2011) and Hurricane Sandy (2012). Hurricane Isabel in 2003 resulted in extreme water levels and caused millions of dollars of damage to residences, businesses and critical infrastructure.
USACE will consider all comments received during the comment period that ends July 31, 2022, in the preparation of the Final Feasibility Report and EA. The Draft 2022 Report, accompanying EA and additional information can be found on the study’s webpage: www.nab.usace.army.mil/DC_Coastal_Study/
USACE and MWCOG will host at least two public meetings during the comment period. The first meeting (in-person) is scheduled for June 14 at Belle View Elementary School, 6701 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA, 22307, from 6 - 8 p.m. The second meeting (virtual) is scheduled for June 16 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Virtual public meeting details and additional information will be posted on the aforementioned USACE project website as they become available.
USACE will continue to monitor COVID transmission rates in the local area and will implement changes to the June 14 meeting as necessary to prioritize the health of employees and the public. Masks and social distancing are recommended, regardless of vaccination status.
FIGURE 1. TENTATIVELY SELECTED PLAN – ARLINGTON WATER POLLUTION CONTROL PLANT FLOODWALL
FIGURE 2. TENTATIVELY SELECTED PLAN – BELLE HAVEN FLOODWALL AND LEVEE
Baltimore District celebrates 175 years of Service to our Nation in 2022
Since the Nation’s fight for independence, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has played a vital role in developing our Nation. The Baltimore District has a long and storied history that extends as far back as the early 1800s when USACE constructed Fort McHenry, successfully shielding Baltimore against British attacks in the War of 1812. And when the threat of coastal attack diminished in the 1820s, Baltimore District turned its attention to developing roadways, railways, canals, and more, marking the beginning of the District’s Civil Works mission. Baltimore District delivers vital engineering solutions in collaboration with its partners to serve and strengthen the Nation, energize the economy, and reduce disaster risks. Baltimore District has an extensive flood risk management program, inspecting nearly 150 miles of levee systems and operating 16 dams, translating to the prevention of more than $16 billion of flood damages to date. The district maintains 290 miles of federal channels, including dredging the Baltimore Harbor, which material is beneficial mainly for restoration missions, such as the expansion of Poplar Island in the Chesapeake Bay. The district has vast ecosystem restoration missions that include restoring native oyster populations in the Bay. Baltimore District is the only district to operate a public utility — the Washington Aqueduct — that produces an average of 135 million gallons of drinking water per day at two treatment plants for approximately one million citizens living, working, or visiting the National Capital Region. The district also cleans up formerly used defense sites, decommissions and deactivates former nuclear power plants, and performs cleanup of low-level radioactive waste from the Nation’s early atomic weapons program. Baltimore District executes a robust military construction program and provides real estate services. These civil and military missions and diverse engineering services support communities and warfighters while addressing the ever-growing list of emerging national security requirements and ultimately protecting the Nation.
For more information, please visit www.nab.usace.army.mil/.